…by Dustin, Age 13

        summer vacation                    summer vacation                     colors everywhere
        so many places to go          you do whatever you want          I'm color, you are color
        many things to do                so long but so short                     we are all color

Three Perspectives on “Lamps”

    lamps will give you light                               lamps, you put lightbulbs               lamps are electric
    lamps will guide you through darkness        lamps, you dont need batteries     light fights against the darkness
    lamps are very bright                                    lamps, you plug it in                     you need light to see

…by Nico B., Age 12

Let me out or else,                            Red apple Orange
I want to go home right now,             Yellow lemon green melon
You can’t contain me!                        Blue purple a i n b o w

…by Sage K., Age 13


Three Perspectives on “Colors” (Emotions)

Grey is all I see.                             Red shards of fury                             Bubbles of pink joy
 Bleak color drowning all light         Burning me all inside out                  I feel lighter than the air
 Swallowing the sun.                        Corroding all sense.                         I soar in my mind.

 …by Sonya H., Age 12

                        Somewhere in Japan                            So many races
                        gazing at the blossom trees                 Standing next to each other
                        writing a Haiku                                     Free and smiling

Three Perspectives on “Dad”

Cheering for his team                    Yelling at the screen                                Yelling at the screen
Watching Sunday night football    Mom dropping a salad bowl                    Mi jumping up in surprise
Yelling at the screen                        Mom yelling at dad                                Dad saying sorry

…by Maya, Age 13

                        Red is a fiery color                                            Blossoms bloom quickly
                        Haunts you in your dreams tonight                   Bees swarm around in pollen
                        But it has left now                                             The sun heats up now

Three Perspectives on “Vacation”

                                                 Elephants                                                New York
It is now in sight                  The brutes are rough skinned                Buildings shadow me
Glistening ocean water       Grey as an old cat’s yarn spool              Lights fill the city all day long
The world is quiet               Spirits been broken                                 I have found myself

..by Derrick , age 13

                    vacation is so nice                                grass is so lovely
                    so many places to go                            we might stare at it with awe
                    visit the countries                                 it’s so soft, grass

Three Perspectives on “Color”

color of colors                                 so grateful are light                                hateful distractions
so many colors                                 to see colors of all, so many                colors are indifferent
vibrant spectrums be                        lovely spectrums                                   like everything else

…by Stephanie W., Age 12

            Across the blue sky,                            Yo the well stood tall
            a silver airplane descends.                  Blue from water, green from moss
            Hawaii at last                                    Yellow rearranged

​                                                                    Three Perspectives on “Bubbles”

Transparent circles                        Pretty see-through balls                        I chase the small balls
Born for a pink plastic wand            I made them with a big breath                but they pop when I catch them
Floating through the air                    Popping at my touch                            Chase the stick instead

...by Emma R., age 13

Her desk is Empty                              All the things Unseen
cleared of all cluttered things there    Our World is Black and White
Her Mind has Flown, Gone                The Absence of Sense

Three Perspectives on “Doctor Who”

Apples are Rubbish                     Rose is Companion                          Rose has gone Away
Bowties and Fezzes are Cool     The Doctor in the TARDIS                The Doctor is Lonely Now
I like Bananas                              Trench coats are Awesome              He has Martha though

…..by Sonika, Age 13

                                                                Greece is beautiful                   Gold is beautimous
                                                                Shining sun on Parthenon        metallic shine in the sun
                                                                Vendors on the streets             adds flare to my day

Three Perspectives on “My Dog

                     My majestic dog                                          My dog is adorbs
        With his long and slender paws     He eats all day and chases
                  He chases rabbits                                            intruders away

My cute dog Rocky
He catches flies in the daylight
And he snores at night

…by Chris B., Age 11 
Tomorrow I fly
The Vacation it can't wait           
But today I pack                          

Three Perspectives on Color

Color can make us                                                       
See the big picture, not small                              
is that good or bad?                                   .                    

Does Color make it worse
Some color makes life end quick
So is color good?

Color is interesting
it brings us to our senses
But without it.....

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Summer 2014

..... by Amrita P. age 12

Race separates us                                        A huge homework pile
  It is how we are known now                          Summer is not an option
Here in the U.S.                                            School is all year round

       Three Perspective on "Moon"

 My eyes examine                            I hear the water
 I see massive craters there             and see the moon's reflection
In a mix of white                              shimmering at night

...by Esme C., Age 10

 The beach and the sand,                     World happy yet sad
 The sunset reflects tonight,                  Sometimes mean and sometimes nice,
 You're warm and happy.                       Weird, and smart, the world.

Three Perspectives on Color

Sun set forest green,                            I have crayons draw,                            The sky kissed by moon,
Streets and sidewalk grey,                   red, purple, green, blue, and pink,       The sky is alive by sun,
Everything colored.                              rainbows my drawing.                          The children are stars.

Japanese poem
 with 17 syllables, 
captured in three lines.  

the first line has 5  
the second line has 7 
final line has 5 

Writers created 3 Haiku with the themes of Color, Vacation and Writer's Choice.  They then chose one theme to write two additional Haiku using the voice of different characters.

....by Sarah I.,  age 12

                     I remember when                                            I once saw color
                     I saw the sea and the sand                             so beautiful and special
                     but memories fade                                           but now it is dark

​Three Perspectives on Words

        Words are her weapons                    People use them wrong              
        they protect her from the dark         Against each other it's bad            
        but sometimes they leave                 it's verbal abuse                           

                                    Too young and small can't
                                   fathom what they really want
                                            I am unwanted

Traveling to Earth,
Will be gone for a long time,
Bye alien friends!
I crawl out of bed
The moonlight shines on my floor
As I look outside
Why Most of the World is Covered in Salty Water, by Sonika

        One upon a time, long, long ago, before phones or computers, there lived a very lively and happy little boy by the name of Gargamel, in the small town of Glacia. 
    One day, as a gift for his good behavior, Gargamel was presented a lizard. The lizard was green and gold; it was a beautiful thing. He and the lizard became great friends. He took the lizard almost everywhere he went, to the crowded bazaar, the market, by the precarious river, where there lurked many wild animals, and on adventures outside of his village. One day, though, Gargamel left his lizard outside on the coffee table, which was located on the terrace of the family’s small bungalow, before he went to school. Many animals watched the lizard, waiting for a perfect chance to eat it; the lizard was very fat, and much juicier than those in the jungle. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, a wild dog viciously lunged towards the lizard and grabbed his tail. BANG!       

        The lizard was able to detach its tail from the rest of its body, ran as fast as he could, resulting in the wolf ramming into the table. 

        Meanwhile, Gargamel was idly walking home for his lunch break. When Gargamel reached his bungalow, he went to get his lizard out of his cage, but he was gone! He realized instantly that he had left the lizard outside on the coffee table! He looked around, hoping to find his poor lizard, but instead of finding the whole lizard, he found the lizard’s tail, and a skittish wolf running away. Jumping to conclusions, Gargamel thought his poor lizard friend was killed and slaughtered by the devilish wolf, but what he didn’t know was that a lizard could detach its body from its tail if it needed to escape from a grasp. He started weeping extremely hard- if you didn't know, a crying child is one of the most powerful things, well beside a chainsaw of course. Anyways, Gargamel cried for days and days to come, and soon his village was flooded with water. The lizard, which heard Gargamel’s cry, slowly climbed up his pants and into his pocket, waiting to be noticed by him.  

        To try to stop the crying child, people tried to calm him with elaborate gifts, even a new lizard, but nothing worked. It was a nightmare. With each passing day, more and more countries were flooded with Gargamel’s tears. After three weeks of Gargamel’s constant crying, the world was panicked. Would he ever stop? Already, three fourths of the world was covered with his salty tears. 

        The people started panicking, and realized their only hope was to find the lizard, and the did. The lizard had crawled into Gargamel’s jacket when he heard his cry! When his grandmother had taken his jacket off to wash it, the lizard came crawling out! Overcome with joy, Gargamel stopped crying and rejoiced for finding his supposedly dead lizard.

        Everyone was relieved that Gargamel had finally stopped crying, but they didn’t know what to do about his tears. Most had their homes destroyed by Gargamel’s constant sobbing. They thought that one day the tears would just disappear, but it never did. To this day, the boy’s tears still cover about three -fourths of the earth, and even though most people try to make up scientific explanations for this phenomenon, this is the bare truth. 
How The Beaver Got His Tale To Simple And Ordinary by Emma L.

        Long ago the beavers had a long and skinny tail. This is why the beaver’s tail looks the way it does today. 
        The beaver’s den was on the middle of the big lake. The muskrats that competed with the beavers for food and shelter lived in the corner of the pond.
The greedy muskrats attacked; the guard beaver saw the muskrats but had no way of warning the other beavers. Their land started to shrink because the muskrats snuck up on the den and rolled the logs off one by one. The guard beaver was desperate, so the next time he saw the muskrats he followed them to the den and fought them. Climbing upon the log he saw the lead muskrat. "See you later,” the muskrat snarled. He pushed the log down the stack towards the beaver. The beaver tried to scamper away; he tripped and the log rolled over the beaver’s tail before it fell into the water and sunk. 

    The shaman said the beaver’s tail would heal but would always be flat.

    The beavers made up a plan for if the muskrats attacked again.

    A few days later he saw the muskrats approaching. He started to run but realized that if he didn’t help the others out their home would be gone. He slapped his new tail on the water and swam after the muskrats. The muskrats thought that it would be easy to get the beavers, but when they got there the beavers counter attacked the muskrats. The muskrats retreated to their side. 
    Now, whenever the beaver is in trouble they slap their tail on the water to warn other beaver.

How the Rocky Mountains Came to Be, by Christopher B.

        One day in the plateau in Colorado, Bill the Buffalo grazed in the tall grass, while his mom and dad sat in the shade of a small tree. Bill looked towards the west and noticed these great mountains rolling towards the sunset.

    “Dad how did those hills become so rocky?” asked Bill. 

    “Well before you know the how it became rocky you have to know how they became hills. My great grandfather was there and he told my grandfather and my grandfather told my father and my father told me,” responded Dad. 

    “Are you sure it’s accurate?” questioned Bill. 

​      “Positive. This is how the story goes, a long time ago giant snakes roamed the earth and when they crossed the oceans they would have to stay alive for a long time before they went to shore. The snakes would only stay in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and a few in Antartica. But none in North or South America. None of the snakes moved from Asia and Australia because the ocean was too big. None moved from Antarctica because the water was too frigid. The snakes in Africa believed there were sea monsters between them and the new world, and European snakes could be scraped by the icebergs in the North Atlantic," Bill's father continued his story.
    "But a few smart and wise snakes from Australia gathered wood and lots of food for a special journey. When the snakes announced at their local commons that they were going to attempt to cross the vast ocean and they needed everyone’s help to build the first ever ship all the locals and townspeople disagreed with the bold snakes. But the smallest snake.  Jimmy agreed to help. He was not the strongest, smartest or even being in the top 5 of the weakest, but he played a big role in the snake’s treacherous voyage across the Pacific. Jake one of the smartest snakes decided that the boat should be a log craft, just 5 logs lying on the ground tied together. But Aaron one of the tougher and stronger snakes disagreed and proposed a new idea."

        "The boat should be covered in armor so we can be protected,” Aaron said confidently.

        “The boat will be too heavy and sink, plus where are we going to get that kind of money!” Borus exclaimed, he was one of the few snakes over 2,000 pounds. 

        “Why is the Borus huge? 2,000 pounds, really!?” Said Bill.

        “Don’t interrupt a good story,” Dad replied.

         “Let’s define good here dad. Do you mean good like it’s actually good or like you’re making this whole story up, kind’ev good,” Bill questioned.

         “Okay back to the “good” story,” Dad decided. The snakes argued and argued for hours on end, on the other hand, jimmy didn’t say a word and started helping. As the snakes continued arguing Jimmy hauled giant logs to the beach area enough for 2 boats, but the snakes were still arguing. When he was through with the logs, Jimmy gathered enough food for three roundtrip voyages! The snakes still haven’t made a decision.

        The little snake gathered lots of wheat, cloth and provisions. When Jimmy noticed the snakes hadn’t made it halfway on a proposed design. Jimmy started on the ship. He worked for hours until he couldn’t move his arms, but not before finishing JIMMY’S VOYAGER.

         “Jimmy we’ve ma---” 

        The snakes looked in awe as they stared up at Jimmy’s masterpiece. They were left speechless. Borus, Aaron and Jake all stepped on the ship and were in shock at how well it was constructed. They all walked around the ship like it was a palace. The snakes carried Jimmy onto his ship and placed him on the nearest bed. The next morning when Jimmy woke up they were already out on the horizon on the sea. 

        Hey, Jimmy you awake!?” Borus said as Jimmy arose from the bottom deck.

         “Where are we?” Jimmy gasped quietly to the crew.

         “Somewhere in the ocean, but not Australia that’s for sure,”Jake replied. The crew was on the ocean for days, weeks, months, years, but the snakes didn’t ever feel hungry, in danger and uncomfortable, all because of Jimmy.
         The snakes finally reached land 2 and a half years after they left their homeland. The snakes decided to go east and see what was over there, to explore the country. They reached all the way to where we are now, the Colorado plains. They found this land so warm and cozy that they stayed here. But as the as the seasons passed they slept and went into hibernation, and never moved. Finally during the winter they froze to the ground and never moved. That was the same for all the snakes that moved here. The same terrible story.”

        “So those mountains are snake bodies?” Bill the buffalo asked. 

        “Yep. The end,” said dad. All the buffalos in the plateau went to bed that night, but one went to bed with a story still ringing in his head. 

        “So you were given this story from your dad?” Bill asked his dad.

        “Yes, and someday I must hear that from your children,” Dad answered. 

Baseball Challenges
are a reaction to a ball
Baseball is all luck.
How the Tiger Got Its Stripes by Sage K., age 13

        The tiger’s ears twitched nervously back and forth, listening to every sound in the jungle: the chirping of a bird, a rustle of wind.

        Stealthily, he prowled across the earthen floor, his paws making no sound whatsoever, as if made of silk cushions. In the cool darkness of the moon, the tiger’s eyes glowed an unnatural sheen of jade, reflecting the color of the surrounding trees and vines. No stripes decorated the tiger’s body, instead his body was a deep sunset orange.

        Back in this time, all animals could speak (later on they are cursed to never utter a word again-but that’s another story).

        This particular tiger was named John Smith. A crunch of leaves caused John to leap and he turned to see them move, revealing the coiling lengths of a snake.

         With one swipe as fluid as quicksilver, John had the snake writhing in one paw. He scowled an ever-present frown, growling “What is your business here?” as he shook the snake violently, causing the poor creature’s head to flop back and forth.

         “My brothers and sisters, sir, they need your help.” he hissed between shakes. “They have found a pool of shadows. Yes, you heard me correctly, sir, and our mother promises whoever touches the shadows first will inherit all her possessions.”

         The snakes of that time were known for the immense amount of treasure
they collected, owing to their discreet shape and cleverness. 

         “A pool…made of shadows?” John inquired. The snake nodded vigorously. “And what should you need me for?” he roared angrily. 

     “A lake surrounding the Pool of Shadows, sir,” he rasped, “Called the Lake of Horrors. A lake with a treacherous, treacherous being, oh yes-a sea serpent, a water animal that has mutated, is now ugly and furious with the world that will do anything-oh, anything- to get revenge on it and its inhabitants. We cannot pass through it, we cannot swim-but surely you, Tiger sir-I’m sure you can.” Here the snake gasped for breath, quite unsure whether the tiger would believe him or not. 

    But John had no intention of declining the offer. In fact, he was attempting to formulate a plan to steal the snakes’ treasure, a plan that would surely win him some lovely, lovely, gold or silver or glistening rubies larger than his eyes, yes, oh yes, the tiger thought, how could I decline this gorgeous offer? 

Without knowing it, John’s lips were pulling back ever so slightly, exposing pearly white incisors. The snake, certain that John planned to use those teeth on his body, inched backwards: “I suppose that’s a No then, quite alright, quite alright sir.” 

 “NO!” The poor snake shrank back in fear, slithering away as fast as he could, regretting asking the tiger for his help in the first place. Quickly, John tried to correct his mistake. “I mean, ‘no’; dear snake, of course I will help you. Lead the way, if you please.”

“Oh-okay. F-follow me, s-sir.” The snake, still shaken from his near-death experience, made his way through the foliage, followed by the orange beast twenty times his size.

  “He’s here!”
  “He’s here?”
  “He’s here!”

      Choruses from the first snake’s (Hugo, he said his name was) brothers and sisters followed thereafter, for snakes were known to repeat themselves or others. John had arrived at the Lake of Horrors, and about thirty snakes swarmed toward him in one excited motion. Hugo yelled in John’s ear over the din of the surrounding voices.

       “We’re going to climb on your back now, Mister Tiger sir, yes, we will, and then you will swim across and we will go to the Pool of Shadows, and when we are done we will climb onto your back again, Mister Tiger sir, and you will swim back to Mother and we will thank you very much, Mister Tiger sir, for you have helped us reach the Pool of Shadows!”

    Grunting his consent, John huffed and stretched out the front part of his body to create a place for the snakes to crawl onto him. Choruses of ‘HOORAY!’s followed, and, as one body, the snakes slithered onto his back. John shuddered in disgust, for having thirty-one snakes swarm onto one’s back felt like a pile of oozing slugs all piled on top of one another after a particularly drenching rain.

     It couldn’t be all that bad, could it? Those slimy snakes must have been exaggerating when they called it Lake of Horrors. Silly little drama queens. How bad could it be? John usually wasn’t one for optimism…but for once, could it be? Was he trying to comfort himself? The mighty tiger, could he sense the foreign emotion? The one feeling that he had never felt before? Would he name it or just go on labeling it as stupidity? But no, he felt it for sure, and despised it wholeheartedly: fear.

     Thinking it best not to dwell on emotions, John shook his head to clear it. Drawing in a deep breath, he jumped into the water, without a second thought.

     Immediately, the water surged and boiled turbulently, and an iridescent fin suddenly emerged. A few snakes toppled off of John’s back in sheer terror, screaming “Monster! Monster!”, but they hadn’t seen the worst of it yet. An enormous head erupted out of the water, electric blue and covered in scales. Huge bulging eyes shone green-not the green like John’s eyes, but luminescent and freely emitting hate. The fin that they had seen earlier ran all the way down its back, and as the massive being reared up-how this was possible since it had the shape of a snake was unbeknownst to all- it opened its mouth, as large as a volcano opening, and hundreds of rows of foot-long fangs were suddenly visible, dripping a yellow substance that hissed as it made contact with the water. The whole beast was ten times a mountain top. Thick as a the length of John. A sea serpent.

     A dozen more snakes toppled off. Nearly as quick as John’s own reflexes, the serpent’s ginormous head dipped down and its mouth came up full of the writhing snakes, synchronically screaming before their last words were silenced by the gnashing of the monster’s teeth.

     “It’s smiling. How can it be smiling?”John muttered to himself as if in a daze, but his eyes begged to differ. John’s eyes darted about the surroundings anxiously, as he willed his paws to propel himself forward the last fifty yards. But John remained paralysed with fear, unable to move though his mind-and the rest of the snakes-screamed

    “GO!”(To reach the land.)

    “Go! Come on! Come on! We must go, we must go!” Hugo’s voice somehow shook him out of his state of paralysis. Growling with frustration, John gave a side glance towards the monster. It was watching the procession with an air of mild interest, a cat watching a fleet of mice scurry around when it knew their death was inevitable.

    John sliced through the water as fast as he could, quicker than he would have ever dreamed possible. Panic was a buoy, no matter how hard John pushed it down; it came back up immediately without a second thought.

    “Faster, faster, faster, Mister Tiger sir, we must go faster!” The snake reared up and alternated prodding John with his head and shouting requests for speed.

     Lazily, the sea serpent dipped down in the restless waves and glided smoothly towards John, as if the lake was metal and the serpent was greased. But John couldn’t look at it now, not with Death itself looming up before them all.

     Suddenly a snake towards the back gave a screech, drowned out by the screams of the others. The sea serpent    was picking off victims one by one, and John knew soon enough he would be next. Not particularly relishing in this fate, John swiveled around and, as the gruesome head bent down for another snake, he sank his tremendous teeth into the serpent’s neck and latched on.
    The sea serpent froze with a snake still between its teeth. John, all confidence dissipated, released his hold. The serpent rose up and dropped down in a violent motion once, as if gagging, freeing the thankful snake that slithered back to her siblings.

     As the serpent let out a last ear-splitting bellow, before collapsing in the thrashing waves, John felt his massive white teeth eroding away from the yellow substance-venom, he presumed.

     “You did it, you did it, now we can go to the Pool of Shadows, we can!” The snakes hissed and celebrated joyfully, contrary to the way John was feeling.

     “Let’s just get this over with, shall we?” John grumbled moodily as he scrambled onto the opposite bank. He rapidly shook his massive self to banish all passengers.

     “We found it! It’s here! We found it!” A snake indistinguishable from the others was already moving towards a patch of black, hurriedly followed by the others.
    What have I gotten myself into? John thought as he headed slowly towards the direction the snakes were going.

    Without dimension. This was the first thing John noticed about the Pool of Shadows, the unfathomable dimensions of the pool. It moved constantly, yet it stayed in one place. From one perspective, it seemed deeper than the darkest depths of the ocean, from another, it seemed to be the depth of a picture. It couldn’t be a thing; it was as much a substance as thoughts were. But, unlike thoughts, the shadows were alive. John felt it as soon as he approached within a few meters of the pool. It was as a wave of, well, darkness washing over him, drowning the world in grey. All lights. All thoughts. Gone.

    In a trance, John took a step forward to the snakes bathing in the pool. Then another, he couldn’t stop himself. As John almost reached the pool, he stretched out his paw towards the shadows-a foot away-an inch away-

    “ARGH!” he drew his paw back, marveling at his own stupidity. He suddenly backed away hastily, fearing that another side of him would attempt to touch the Pool of Shadows. Look at those snakes, he thought, they aren’t even speaking. How unusual. Then, with a jolt, he realized that the slimy creatures were in as much of a trance as he had been. Then he remembered something Hugo had chattered about. The memory of the warning echoed in his ears. “Mother wanted you to come with us, she did, yes, because the Pool of Shadows has a strange lure to it, and when the first snake touches the pool you must bring us back, you must…”, John scrambled to his travelers.

     “COME HERE!” John bellowed with the force of an elephant (not that they would know what an elephant was), and all the snakes turned towards him.

     All at once, the snakes started toward John, speaking at once. 

    “Only one of us was supposed to bathe, Mother will be angry-“
     “I could not remember anything for a few minutes, I couldn’t!-“
    “SILENCE!” John bellowed yet again. Then, calmer, “What has happened to all of you?”

    Slowly, as if just realizing it, the snakes turned to look at each other. Each was the color of midnight, the color of shadows. Screaming, every one scrambled onto John’s back. This time, panicked, the snakes wound themselves around John tightly. For some reason, it burned lightly where the snakes touched him, but John passed it off as nerves.

     “You must take us back!” yelled a female snake.
    “This is bad, this is very, very bad,” added another.

     “I will take you back, but you must not say a word. My head throbs! Say nothing at all, or else.” Not a hiss, nor a scream, nothing only pure silence accented by the crickets resounding in the trees. John sighed with pleasure and relief. He didn’t seem to be affected by the shadows.
    Silence followed John all the way back to the now still lake, then onto the opposite shore, where the snakes slithered back to their home. John would have made a snide remark, but his teeth were now too short to seem threatening. The urge to steal the snake’s treasure was gone. John traveled all the way back to where our story began, in the depths of the jungle. A serene look passed over John’s face as he lapped up water from a clear drinking pool. It was only when the water had stilled again when the silence was broken.

    “My face! My body! What hideous stripes!” Black stripes, from head to toe, covered his body from where the snakes had wound themselves around him. But could it be true? Sure enough, John confirmed that the stripes were the exact color of the Pool of Shadows. Backing up quickly, John gave a roar that shook the nearby trees (John was never one for crying instead).
    No sound was made, however, as he scampered into the dark jungle, swallowed up once again by silence.

Useless Vacation                        Restless toes tapping
No point at all to argue                Crashing waves beckoning me
Why do we must go?                    Golden rays of sun.